“The reality is, if I were to look at the number of followers, comments or shares, I might throw in the proverbial towel. However, and fortunately, it’s not chiefly about that for me – although engagement matters. For me, it’s about unearthing untold stories.” ~ Hadassah Deleveaux
Here I am through Hospital Lane, a tiny street, over the hill.
By Hadassah Deleveaux (née Hall)
I don’t know how else to say it.
This week makes a year since I officially launched my blog, Over The Hill…The Other Side via a press release and the reality is, sometimes the train needs fuel. I crawl along the track, trying to make it to the next station…the next post… but the struggle is real.
My main problem is consistent posts. I realize a major disadvantage of my type of blog is it depends on interviews. I seek out people who live in this historic inner city area and are making a difference within the community or those who once lived here and have gone on to make meaningful contributions to society at large – but have not forgotten from whence they came.
I do not have the kind of blog where if an airplane stewardess is rude to me, I can blog about that for the duration of the flight; nor is it the kind of blog that allows me to speak about the beauty of true friendship, or perhaps talk about the kindness of the lady behind me in the food store. These entries are more easily written and require no interviews. They’re written from the heart.
Meanwhile, my posts come with a bit more effort. I have to call or email people – many strangers – convince them to be interviewed and meet them at a convenient place. I’ve done after work interviews, weekends and even a 9 am lunch break – just to get the interview. I have no problem with those efforts because the reporter that still lives within me – and will never die – does what I must to get the interview. #journalistforlife.
I worked for the national news network (ZNS) and am here interviewing Martin Luther King III
We couldn’t wait for the then Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Perry Christie to emerge from the House of Assembly proceedings.
I love newspaper writing, but I love broadcasting as well. I particularly enjoyed live broadcasts. Here, I was broadcasting at a political convention.
I am confident in my feature writing skills, but confess that I don’t hear my voice on the blog. My. Very. Own. Voice. Yes, that’s missing and it’s another problem besides consistently posting. However, I don’t want to lose the focus of the blog.
I enjoy reading the blogs of fellow former reporters Ianthia Ferguson and Rogan Smith. They’re so real. So raw. So transparent. The focus of my blog doesn’t allow for that. It’s not about me. It’s about the people over the hill – an area that is known for drugs, violence, poverty, brokenness, the uneducated, who have been ostracized and marginalized. But there is another side. There is…‘The Other Side.’ And for the past year, I’ve attempted to focus on this and despite the struggle, I am proud of the work I do.
So where do I go from here? How do I make going into this second year of blogging less of a struggle? How do I interlace my voice in my posts?
Honestly, when it comes to writing the posts, I weave those words and stitch each sentence together passionately. And of course some pieces stand out more than others, but each one is written with care because I believe in autographing my work with excellence.
I must admit that what keeps me going is the fact that my blog is different. No one else locally is dedicated to positively writing about the people who are still living over the hill or have moved on but haven’t forgotten their roots in such an historic area that has historically been the bedrock for political and social change. I know this is a unique blog and these stories are worthy to be told.
In fact, I am encouraged by the fact that an English professor at the University of The Bahamas (UB) and a few English instructors at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) have used my work in their classes. I had the opportunity to present on my blog to an English class at BTVI and it turned out to be quite lively and interactive.
I also remember receiving this message from the UB professor last November, who said, “I have just finished a lecturer at UB where we were discussing your article on Sir Randol Fawkes’ daughter, Rosalie. We had read an article about him at the beginning of the semester: ‘Bay Street Boys Could Not Buy Randol Fawkes.’ The students were horrified to learn that attempts were made to erase his legacy.”
I was so excited to know that the professor even found my work worthy to be used in her lesson. It was indeed an honour.
Furthermore, in November 2018, I won The Bahamas Press Club’s Social Media Award and I knew the substance of my work, coupled with writing style possibly pushed me forward. It was certainly a crowning moment, as my mission for the blog is to change the perspective of this heritage community in my own corner…in a small way.
Owner of Serena Williams Media Public Relations, Serena Williams, presenting me with The Bahamas Press Club’s 2018 Social Media Award for this blog, ‘Over the Hill…The Other Side.’
Photo credit: Eric Rose
The reality is, if I were to look at the number of followers, comments or shares, I might throw in the proverbial towel. However, and fortunately, it’s not chiefly about that for me – although engagement matters. For me, it’s about unearthing untold stories…telling the story behind the story. For example, we look at Ianthia Ferguson and we see her massive following, her beautiful photos and we hear her heart, but when I wrote about where she came from (amazingly, that post got nearly 1,000 views!), the comment on Facebook that touched me most was the reader who said, Wow! Why am I here crying? Awesome read! Parents play such a major role in the lives of their children. Someone once said to their child, ‘I will make a masterpiece of you.’ And this is what I live by when it comes to parenting my two kids.”
Just being able to inspire one person by the stories I write, warms my heart.
So as I reevaluate, refuel and recalibrate, it is my hope to share more personal experiences about over the hill.
I need advice. Got any?